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Disability and the Ethics of Conducting Research in Higher Education. International Day of Persons with Disabilities - Webinar

Disability Research Network, Trinity College Dublin.

Thursday 3 December 2020, 15:30 - 17:00 (IST).

Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides that ‘States Parties undertake to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the present Convention.’ This indicates the importance of ensuring that disability is included in the design of research strategies and projects, but also that people with disabilities are able to conduct and participate in research. Article 31 specifies that this must be pursued in compliance with ‘ethical principles’. This international webinar provides an opportunity to explore further the intersection between advancing disability-inclusive research and upholding respect for research ethics.


  • Dr. Teresa Blankmeyer-Burke, Gallaudet University: ‘Research Ethics: Access and Inclusion’
  • Dr. Edlyn Vallejo Peña, California Lutheran University: ‘Strategies for Disability-Centered Research Approaches’
  • Dr. Clodagh Brooks, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Equality: ‘Changing College Cultures: Disability in Trinity’


  • Dr. John Bosco Conama and Dr. Susan Flynn, Trinity College Dublin


Dr. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke is Professor of Philosophy at Gallaudet University, a bilingual university that uses American Sign Language and written English to teach deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students in Washington DC. She is the only signing Deaf philosopher in the world with a doctorate in philosophy. Her publications cover a wide range of genres, including peer-reviewed scholarship in philosophy, bioethics, research ethics, policy, and signed language interpreting ethics. As Faculty Administrator for Faculty Development, she is currently responsible for faculty development, which includes anti-racism training, professional development in teaching and learning, and mentoring. Prior to this Professor Burke provided research ethics instruction as part of the university's Responsible Conduct of Research. This work included special attention to the ethical issues of conducting research on deaf populations, as well as the ethical challenges that arise with research teams of deaf and hearing members. Dr. Burke has served on a number of national and international committees for a variety of organizations, including the United Nations, World Federation of the Deaf, the American Philosophical Association, the Hearing Loss Association of America, and the National Association of the Deaf (USA).

Dr. Clodagh Brook is Trinity College’s first Associate Vice Provost for EDI, a role that was created by the College in 2019. She is a firm and passionate advocate for inclusivity and leads the College’s EDI strategies. Educated at the University of Oxford (D Phil) and at University College, Dublin (BA and MA), she is author of 3 monographs, including her latest, Screening Religions in Italy (University of Toronto Press, 2019), which assesses how religions, including Islamic minorities, access the public sphere in Italy. She also leads on a large AHRC-funded grant, Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020: Interart/Intermedia, and has written widely on identities, on Italian cinema and culture.

Dr. Edlyn Peña is the Chair, Director, and Associate Professor of the Education Leadership doctoral program at California Lutheran University. She is an award-winning researcher who studies ways to support autistic students in the preschool through higher education pipeline. Her edited book, “Communication Alternatives in Autism” (2019) and "Leaders Around Me" (2019) feature prominent autistic individuals who advocate for communication and inclusion rights. As a scholar and Director of the Autism and Communication Center, Dr. Peña’s service to the autism community has reached international audiences.

Event Registration Registration for the event can be completed here.